At the end of December in 2022, I made the bold move to leave my job as a teacher, to work on regaining an acceptable level of wellness after caring for my mom in hospice and losing her last summer.
I used all of what I have learned from research and my healing times of the past. I am pleased to say that at this juncture which is not even two months later but feels like a lifetime, I have regained this level of reasonably good health again.
I started inserting one small habit at a time.
The first was food related. I had developed a habit of large portions of junk food to keep me awake on my long commute. Breakfast at a fast food place was a common occurrence since I was on the road so early, before I felt I could eat anything. Also, when I was caring for mom, my mornings were feeding her and administering medications. I didn’t fit in the schedule. When I got home it was the same thing. Many caregivers and mothers can relate to how these habits begin. This would not be healthy for everyone but intermittent fasting helped me become more mindful about eating. I have one meal a day, that is satisfying. I allow myself some Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or fruit for snacks. All eating occurs after 8am and I am done at 5 or 6. I have lost 10 pounds, but more importantly I feel I am in control of what I eat and when again, on a behavioral level. The biggest pay off is I do not feel as sluggish as I did when I was eating all of the filler foods that I didn’t necessarily love. They were just convenient.
After I cleaned up my diet, I worked on de-cluttering the house I inherited, that was full of my mom’s belongings, family treasures, and tons of stuff that needed to be thrown away. It was so much, I hired a friend to help me with a few closets. I painted where there had been busy wallpaper that was an energetic drain. My daughter took some furniture that was extra and family members came to claim some things they wanted. There is a little left to do but most of the decluttering is done. Decluttering makes life more simple because there is less to manage and clean and the objects and possessions that matter to you take a front row seat, rather than being lost in the back of a closet somewhere. This mentally made me feel so much more freedom.
I started allowing myself to be creative. I have been painting and learning guitar. I started a class to help me work on some business skills. Creativity and learning have always been part of my healing journeys in the past and it was no different this time. I have decided on roof and siding renovations for the house. I have ordered flowers and trees. Outside I needed to remove troublesome trees in order to begin other renovations. Sometimes out outdoor areas can have clutter. Dead trees and trees that blocked internet access had to go.
I feel healthier and my mind is more clear. I scheduled a cruise that will be happening in a few weeks. The things that I have informed clients about and encouraged them to do when they were in a transition of some kind is how I have healed myself. I am not in perfect health. There is no such thing. I feel I am in reasonably good health and going the right direction.
Wellness is a process and what I learned on the deep end of caregiving is sometimes you are just surviving. It is okay. Love yourself through that. Take care of yourself as you can. If you want to talk to a coach about exploring some small changes that can make a big difference in the long run, please feel free to contact me about coaching. The best way to reach me is e-mail with the subject line saying “I need a coach”.
If you email me, I will reach out and we can have a free initial chat. Take care.